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Finally, Legislators Tackle Vikings Stadium Bill

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By Courtney King, NewsRadio 830 WCCO and Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The long-awaited Minnesota Vikings Stadium Bill was officially introduced at the state legislature Monday.

Lester Bagley, vice president of public affairs for the Vikings, said he likes the bill.

“It’s an opportunity to put a deal together that’ll work, solve the issue and secure the team,” he said.

WCCO’s Dave Lee Interviews Lester Bagley

Bagley said it helps having support from DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, Republican Sen. Julie Rosen, GOP Rep. Morrie Lanning and a bi-partisan group of legislators.

“There’s a good group of folks behind it. We do have a couple of concerns with the bill, but for the most part it’s a good framework,” Bagley said.

According to Bagley, the bill lays out what the team will be required to do, it allows a local partner to step up with a plan of financial support and a site, and specifies what the state will be asked to do.

“There’s plenty of time left in the session to dig into it and work on the bill and fix it where it needs to be fixed,” he said.

The plan would raise up to $300 million in state funds in different ways, such as the Vikings lottery game, and taxes on memorabilia, luxury seats and player salaries.

“There has actually been two stadiums that have been helped and funded by lottery scratch-off games, one in Seattle and one in Baltimore,” Bagley said.

Last year, the team kicked off a Vikings scratch-off lottery game, and former Vikings defensive star John Randle was out advertising for it.

“In short of one year, lottery folks sold $13 million in lottery tickets. So the idea is to take a small piece of that,” Bagley said. “It’s Vikings-themed, it’s voluntary, and put it into the mix. It has been successful in the past and the league would definitely endorse that.”

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